Domenica 17 Gennaio 2021 | 11:02

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ROME
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Salvini says asked Mattarella to make haste

 
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Il Biancorosso

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Rome

>>>ANSA/ Emir's visit highlights Qatari investments in Italy

36-year-old to meet Mattarella, Renzi

>>>ANSA/ Emir's visit highlights Qatari investments in Italy

Rome, January 28 - The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is visiting Rome on Thursday, where he is scheduled first to meet at the Quirinal Palace with President Sergio Mattarella, followed in the evening by a dinner at Villa Madama with Premier Matteo Renzi. The 36-year-old emir, who takes a hard line against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is expected to discuss bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East, especially in light of UN-backed peace talks on Syria scheduled to begin Friday in Geneva, in which the emir will take part. However, perhaps the most significant objective of the emir's visit will regard business and investment, following on the heels of a visit to Doha by Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni last November, who called Qatari investments "a very interesting prospect". Qatar, in fact, has had annual growth of 10.7% over the past 10 years, and the IMF forecasts 6% growth for the coming four. In recent years, the peninsular Persian Gulf country has made some high-profile investments in Italy, beginning in 2012 with al-Thani's father, Hamad bin Kalifa al-Thani, who was emir at the time. In April of that year, Qatar Holding - a subsidiary of the country's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) - bought up a portfolio of properties along the 35-mile-long Emerald Coast on the island of Sardinia. That was followed by the purchase of Valentino Fashion Group, which includes fashion brands Valentino and M Missoni, for an estimated cost of more than 700 million euros. But Qatar's weightiest investments in Italy still center on property. Last February, QIA became "landlord" of an entire business district in Milan, the Porta Nuova, which houses eco-friendly luxury residential towers with vertical gardens, and shiny skyscrapers full of office space. In late December of last year, QIA also bought the BNP Paribas building in Milan's Piazza San Fedele. In Rome, QIA owns the luxury Excelsior hotel on Via Veneto, which it bought for 222 million euros from Qatari multinational Katara Hospitality. And back on the island of Sardinia, the Qatar Foundation Endowment - an investment arm of the private non-profit Qatar Foundation founded in 1995 by the current emir's father - financed the opening of the Mater Olbia Hospital, a 290-bed institution and research centre open to both public and private patients.

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